“I plead the blood.”
Those were the last words seventeen-year-old golden boy quarterback Clay Tate heard rattling from his dad's throat when he discovered him dying on the barn floor of the Neely Cattle Ranch, clutching a crucifix to his chest.
Now, on the first anniversary of the Midland, Oklahoma slaughter, the whole town's looking at Clay like he might be next to go over the edge. Clay wants to forget the past, but the sons and daughters of the Preservation Society—a group of prominent farmers his dad accused of devil worship—won't leave him alone. Including Ali, his longtime crush, who suddenly wants to reignite their romance after a year of silence, and hated rival Tyler Neely, who’s behaving like they’re old friends.
Even as Clay tries to reassure himself, creepy glances turn to sinister stares and strange coincidences build to gruesome rituals—but when he can never prove that any of it happened, Clay worries he might be following his dad down the path to insanity...or that something far more terrifying lies in wait around the corner.
Holy crap, this is YA?
The Last Harvest could have passed for an adult horror novel if it weren't for the sterotypical spin the bottle, 7 minutes in heaven, and high school football games. I probably would have recommended this to fans of Ania Ahlborn if the maturity level pendulum hadn't swung quite so far.
First and foremost I enjoyed the horror aspects of The Last Harvest. It was gory and it was unsettling. There was a dream sequence element to it all which usually doesn't work for me, but Kim Liggett managed to successfully make me wonder what was real and what wasn't.
The only thing I didn't enjoy was the repetitive plot. Even when new things were happening, the structure of the story and the sequence of the action was very "lather, rinse, repeat". By 60% I was really wanting the story to wrap up.
Despite my frustration with the structure, the entire book lead up to a very satisfying conclusion. Kim Liggett is an author I will be reading again. If you are a fan of YA horror, I would definitely check out The Last Harvest. It's not like any other YA horror I have read.
7/10: Recommended Read